The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been postponed indefinitely after multiple players tested positive for the new string of coronavirus that currently crippling India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced. The number of new coronavirus infections in India passed 20 million this week, with more than 300,000 reported cases daily.
In a statement, the IPL said the decision was “unanimously” taken by the IPL Governing Council and the BCCI. “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL,” the statement added. “This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.”
The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra contracted the virus earlier this week. Chennai Super Kings bowling Coach L. Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were reportedly tested positive first, while Delhi Capitals (DC) spinner has also returned a positive result in Ahmedabad.
“These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the statement added. ”The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
Last week, the Australian government had shut its borders and ban travellers from India, including Australian citizens, from entering the country until May 15. It also threatened returning citizens a 5-year jail term if they entered Australia after having been in India within their last 14 days of their arrival. As many as 14 players are still in the bio-bubbles.
IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel said the BCCI would help the franchises arrange for the return of their foreign players, while those who have contracted the virus, and other players and staff, have to follow the tournament’s quarantine protocols. “Franchises will take a call on their departures, while the BCCI will provide the necessary support,” Patel said.
Earlier, Rajiv Shukla, a senior BCCI vice-president and former chairman of IPL said: ”We will meet again soon and decide when we can conclude this edition, we will have to see when is the next window available.” Shukla also clarified that the 14th edition of IPL has been postponed and not cancelled, while the remained of the tournament will still happen “in due course, when the COVID situation improves”.
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